Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to AC Milan in an advisory capacity was confirmed earlier in the week but he will not be in Newcastle for tonight’s Champions League game, a report claims.
La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) reports that Ibrahimovic was not in Newcastle yesterday but in Sweden, yet there was a lot of talk about him. The Milan fans are wondering what he will do from tomorrow and ‘tomorrow’ is the key word.
Zlatan didn’t go to Milanello yesterday for a motivational speech or to be close to the coach Stefano Pioli, and it is very unlikely that he will be at the game tonight in the north of England, even if a last minute private flight cannot be ruled out.
His second life will begin tomorrow when he is expected at Milanello for a post-match briefing. There are certain parallels to the story, given that he returned after a defeat against Atalanta in 2019 and then he will experience his first game as a RedBird man at San Siro against Adriano Galliani’s Monza, who one day in 2010 stood in his living room to convince him to return to Milan:
Pioli yesterday when asked about Zlatan he replied calmly: “We spoke yesterday. I believe he has always been a top player, he has faced all the challenges with intelligence and determination. He will still go like this. He will be an added value and a resource.”
Beyond diplomacy, the attitude is more sincere than one might think: Pioli sees Zlatan as a support, not a tutor. The rest remains to be written. Ibrahimovic, after all, is a multifaceted man: sportsman, actor, entrepreneur. He hasn’t succeeded in absolutely everything but he never lacked initiative and drive.
In Italy much has been written about its Padel Zenter for example, the padel centers opened in Sweden and (one) in Segrate, a stone’s throw from Milan. His investment in Buddyfit was impressive, at the time a startup created by three Italian guys with the idea of allowing users to train from home, without going to the gym.
Ibra has invested in MindTheGum, the chewing gum for which he is the testimonial. In Storage365, a Swedish company that helps those looking for storage for furniture, boxes and campers. In Challengermode, an e-sports platform. In Validio, which deals with data.
He has invested in Hammarby, the historic football club in Stockholm, and in real estate in Sweden and around the world. Recently it has been written about the drop in proceeds from his brand Unknown (€5.8m in 2022, net profit of €1.5m) but Zlatan has a clear point of view on money, expressed in an interview with Piers Morgan and beyond.
“Money creates stress, even within families. I grew up without money, dad earned 1,000 euros a month but we were fine. As long as there is enough money to pay the bills. Money makes your life easy but I don’t think it brings happiness.”
In many ways it is the opposite of the Champions League round of 16, which would provide many millions that Milan could really do with at the moment.